In these times, we’re holding out for a hero more than ever. This Wednesday, Allie Kahan, Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, and Deborah Siegel bring us their personal definition of just that, from caped crusaders to feminist icons to family. Meanwhile, I’ll softly hum the lyrics to the Mariah Carey classic, and hope it adds ambience.
Allie Kahan grew up in the suburban town of Glenview, Illinois. Heavily influenced by Nancy Drew, she was fond of trying to solve neighborhood mysteries, of which there were always none. Now, Allie is graduating in March with a degree in Communications and Media with a minor in Psychology. She has completed two internships working in the communications department of different non-for-profits. Allie writes weekly satirical articles for The Black Sheep, as well as hosts, interns and studies improvisation at iO Chicago. She is a monologist in DePaul University’s Vagina Monologues in February. In her spare time, Allie sees improv shows at iO, tries recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and fruitlessly tries to convince her friends how fun it would be to start a book club.
Amy Sumpter is a cast member of the Kates. She can be seen all over Chicago doing stand up. When she isn’t doing that, you can find her high-kicking and rapping with She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boy tribute band.
Louise W. Knight
A native of Evanston who spent 20 years elsewhere after college, Louise W. Knight eventually found her Midwest roots too strong to ignore. Writing two books about Illinois-born Jane Addams also helped draw her back. After a career in university and nonprofit administration and fundraising, she is a biographer now, working on a third book about two radical abolitionist-feminists of the 1830s, the sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke.
Deborah Siegel is the author of two books and a pair of boy/girl twins, and the founder of the public voice consultancy, Girl Meets Voice Inc. She’s also co-founder of SheWrites.com, Senior Facilitator with The OpEd Project, and creator of the Girl w/Pen blog. A Visiting Scholar in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northwestern University and a lover of all things lake, she’s an ex-New Yorker who bailed on academia but never fully left. Her writing has appeared in venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN.com, The Forward, Kveller, Slate, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, Ms., More, and Psychology Today, and she’s been featured on The Today Show, at TEDx, and in the New York Times. Deborah is currently obsessed with a multimedia experiment in thinking out loud, and in community, about gender and early childhood. Learn more at http://www.deborahsiegelphd.com.
Crystal Lynnette is a lifelong, deep dish-eating, Cubs-loving, no ketchup on hotdogs-having Chicagoan. She is new to storytelling in front of adults, but spends most of her days telling stories to 9 and 10-year-olds as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher. During her free time she is training for a marathon, doing yoga, or watching reruns of The Office, and eating an embarrassing amount of Taco Bell (it is called balance).